Michael Cox wrote:I have posted previously about my experiments with trench production of biochar. It is very effective. The basic strategy is you keep loading more and more fuelwood on the trench as the layers beneath burn down to char. The flames above protect the already created char from burning away to nothing. All you would need is a digger on site, and water for quenching. You might like to look at the kontiki cone kiln designs; there are plenty of youtube videos of the principle in acton.
Is the intention to keep the biochar on site, or is it for the landowner to then move offsite to use in agricultural fields etc? I'm not sure that it would do much good in the woodland itself, as woodland soils tend to already have high organic carbon contents.
Don't under estimate the time taken to load and monitor a large burn trench. It took me multiple burns to deal with brush from 1/5th of an acre of brush thinning.
Kenneth Elwell wrote:Would it not be better to chip all the limbs and tops and use that to much the areas being replanted? especially if trucking away to a burn/char site is required?
Save $$ by not using Glyphosate? + mulch the new plantings + keep the nutrients on-site?
or teach them about Hugelculture... cut swales and trenches and bury the slash, then plant the new trees in the hugels.
Maybe you could test a hugelculture as a demonstration, in a small area, to see if it would be feasible/cost effective.
Anything they'll go for has to be less expensive, make more money, or be faster, or easier than the current method.
There could be another angle, like you mention poultry manure/CAFO waste, that could be another revenue stream when combined with the tree plantation cleanup.
Like composting manure/carcasses/offal with the chipped slash wood on the plantation? Two separate problems that could be each other's solution?
Guy Zindel wrote:I was under the impression hugel culture was not as effective in the tropics...
I would probably add a sacrificial layer of cardboard atop the burn pile,
What if the pit was dug out with a slightly narrower bottom
Logs or branches of appropriate length would form the structure above the scoop trench,